Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cover Story - Marketing Trends to look forward to in 2016 || Piyush Jain || IIM Shillong || January 2016 edition

Marketing Trends to look forward to in 2016

Piyush Jain
IIM Shillong

Looking back at the start of 2015, most of the marketing predictions were centred around social marketing. Then digital marketers wanted to know which traditional social networking platforms would get more expensive and which new social sites to exploit. Social media still works, but it’s important to look deeper into how people are using these platforms and not just which ones are popular at the moment.
So let’s see what 2016 might have in store for us in terms of marketing trends as predicted by Daniel Newman in an Forbes article and Kenneth Gillett in business2community to name a few. Digital marketing trends will be something to look forwards to this year also but at the same time there will be other ways and other things to look at. Like content marketing is becoming increasingly visual. As we transition into 2016, it’s time to think about which visual marketing trends are most likely to stick around. Though new techniques and ways are coming up every year but there are some traditional techniques that are an absolute must. Fashions, technology, and Internet user preferences can change in a flash. Still, some traditional marketing tactics have translated very well from offline to online.
Meanwhile, marketers get to enjoy an exciting ride, but they need to adapt quickly or risk falling off. So let’s have a look at a few trends that we should take a note of in 2016.

Top Marketing trends

Embrace the Customer Experience Model: 
It’s been a slow grind for some, but marketing departments are moving from a silo of advertising and non-interactive communication toward becoming a natural part of the sales cycle and an extension of customer service. Marketers, using integrated tools, can engage with customers online, track the buyer’s journey, measure sentiment and loyalty, and match behavior with outreach tailored to meet their audience’s needs and interests. But for customers already bombarded with information, a great customer experience is becoming baseline.

Content is still the King:
It may sounds like a broken record, but content is still king—even more so given the deterioration of interruptive tactics. But context is a stronger factor than ever. With no decline in sight for the importance of good content, the next year will see greater focus on bringing influencers on board for more organic marketing. Storytelling will also play a key role in drawing consumers in and keeping them engaged. Natural, relevant content in the right channels will drive content campaigns.

Big Data IS for Marketers:
Big data, which includes social and unstructured data, is a goldmine for marketers. Until recently, many marketers shied away from big data because they lacked the skills—or the big budget resources—to translate it into something meaningful. Now, tools are coming to the marketplace that make mining and managing data easier than ever. 2016 will be a banner year for incorporating big data and perhaps more importantly, analytics into marketing decisions.

Omni channel Will be Retail’s Best Friend: 
Tweet for Pizza! Dominos has one of the catchiest Omni channel campaigns right now, but brands across the board will quickly learn that an integrated customer experience is essential—one that creates one smooth interaction, rather than multiple micro events. From addressing the causes behind abandoned shopping carts to creating an easy transition between online and bricks-and-mortar locations, Omni channel will improve the bottom line for both retailers and B2B.

Digital Marketing

The year 2015 has been the year of digital marketing and it will be in the news in 2016 as well. There will be new developments happening in this space and will most probably take away the major chunk of the company’s marketing budget. So let’s look at some of the game changing digital marketing trends that we might witness in 2016.

·       Influencer Marketing: 
Influencer marketing is considered to be the most rapidly expanding way to acquire new customers. Recent surveys suggest that getting authorities or celebrities to mention or promote products might grow faster than SEO, PPC ads, and content marketing. Tactics to attract influencers vary, but they might include sending free products to review, offering cross promotion, or simply paying a fee. Many brands have already capitalized on this and others are following.

·       Increased spending on organic social marketing:
Organic social media is based on the assumption that you have to earn your way into the newsfeed with great content that people love. Most organic social media posts aren’t directly selling, because selling is rarely interesting enough to drive engagements. In the Adweek survey, 70 percent of marketers planned to spend more on using content marketing to increase their social presence. Attracting attention via useful or entertaining content can complement social media ad spend.

·       Going mobile: 
In May of 2015, Google already announced that mobile traffic outpaced laptop and desktop traffic in several countries, including the US. It’s interesting to note that that Smart Insights data suggests that the average time spent on a PC isn’t really decreasing. Rather, time spent on cell phones and other mobile devices is increasing rapidly. That means that it’s important to make sure you have an effective mobile design, but it’s not time to abandon updates for your laptop and desktop site.

·       Video will become critical for digital advertising success: 
Most marketers have already explored the power of uploading video ads to sites like YouTube and promoting them via social media. In addition, Google is testing using video ads in their PPC search ads, and these are expected to debut soon. Platforms like Facebook already have paid video ads, and they’re performing well enough to be a new standard in the marketing mix.

Visual Marketing

As mentioned above digital advertising will be on the rise and video will be one of the things that is going to drive it. It is nothing but Visual marketing to use a broader term and much has been clear for a while that is rising. From branded video content to the revitalization of email marketing, visual marketing will be a key component of the successful marketer’s 2016 strategy.

·       Use of Animated GIFs on Social:
As many social media marketers and avid users have recognized, animated GIFs and short videos have become pervasive over the course of 2015. If you look at Twitter, the majority of its best-performing content involves some kind of visual element.
This gravitation toward visual posts is based on human preferences. The average person’s attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds. Thus, most social media users aren’t going to read an entire article; they simply want the basics.
GIFS, or bite-sized animations, are ideal for telling stories in a short timeframe. The motion in these images also gives them an advantage in vying for attention in crowded newsfeeds.
Also look for Vine video clips, which are six-second truncated videos, to rise in popularity. Vine is already extremely popular with the general public, but brands have yet to fully adopt it. This will likely change in 2016.

·       Real-Time Storytelling Via Live-Stream Social:
Thanks to Meerkat and Periscope, an entirely new social medium came into existence in 2015. Known as real-time storytelling or live-stream social, these video platforms enable users to live-stream videos to their followers.
Periscope may already seem big, but expect the platform to explode in 2016. It offers the perfect blend of social media and video that progressive digital marketers have been looking for.
Also we can expect to see a lot of brands doing sneak peeks, product presentations, celebrity takeovers, live question-and-answer sessions, behind-the-scenes footage, contests, and more. If you’re a digital marketer, the possibilities created by social live-streaming are exciting. It’s the future of the industry, and it’ll be intriguing to see how live-stream social evolves in 2016.

·       Video Will Revitalize Email Marketing:
Though email marketing is still very much alive, its power has waned in recent months because more attention is being given to evolving mediums such as social media. Still, expect video to revitalize email marketing in 2016.
Marketers will rely less on heavy text content and more on videos that encourage recipients to interact with their brands. The key to successfully using video in email depends on the quality of the video and its length.

·       Videos on Home Pages and Product Pages:
While off-site videos on YouTube and other publishing platforms are valuable as mentioned above, you’ll see more and more video content migrate to branded URLs. Marketers will continue to find ways to integrate video into web design and make pages less static and more immersive. There are two specific places where video will likely surface, i.e., Home pages and Product pages. You’ll also see more video content used on landing pages and “About Us” pages. Textual content won’t disappear completely, but we can expect video to permeate web design much further in the coming months.  

These are some of the Marketing trends that will create a buzz in the market. So in this rapidly changing world of marketing with old trends still going strong and some new trends that are to be looked at as predicted by some marketer’s, so what do you think will these rule the market or we are going to see something different altogether? We can only wait and watch the exciting world of marketing that lays ahead of us this coming year.

1 comment:

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